Scoliosis Awareness Month
June is Scoliosis Awareness Month throughout the world, and an organization in the UK has gone even further and proclaimed June 30th “International Scoliosis Awareness Day.” And maybe, over the next few weeks, you’ll hear more about this condition on our website and in health news.
So what is scoliosis? First of all, it is not a disease! Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine, which is generally “S” or “C”-shaped. Most of the 3% of the world’s population affected by scoliosis are children and adults, who are otherwise healthy. And unfortunately, the condition can present itself at any stage in life, although most cases are diagnosed at birth or before age 20, and the majority are female. And although scoliosis is not a disease, the condition can be progressive, and the severity of the degree of curvature can get worse over time. Further, scoliosis can cause major problems with mobility, personal care, childbearing, quality of life, and breathing in severe cases.
German hospitals and surgeons have a highly-respected reputation of diagnosing and treating scoliosis cases. However, the type of treatment recommended depends on the type, cause and location of the curvature. The most common treatment is bracing, whereby a fiberglass or plastic corset-like brace is custom-made and applies pressure to points along the spine, which are meant prevent the degree of curvature from increasing. This treatment is most effective when the patient is still growing (or immediately following surgery).
Another treatment option is spine surgery, which is an extensive surgical procedure that is usually recommended for cases that indicate a continual degenerative progression. Although each case is different, generally surgeons recommend surgery when the curvature is between 40 and 50°. Spinal surgeries are serious and advanced procedures, but modern innovation and research has developed to offer minimally invasive surgeries, as well. So whenever possible, for the good of the patient and to accelerate recovery times, spinal surgeries are performed by using the most modern, minimally invasive and microsurgical techniques. Additionally, computer-assisted systems give surgeons a clear view of the operating area with millimeter precision, and intraoperative MRI is used to check the surgery results. One of the most promising techniques, which uses the innovation of the da Vinci Xi robot, is offered at select hospitals in Hamburg.
This article gives a quick look at some issues associated with scoliosis. However, in order to decide which treatment is best for an individual patient, a qualified specialist needs to get a thorough understanding of the overall condition of the patient and the curvature of the spine. Therefore, it is necessary to review the patient’s complete medical history along with any therapies previously explored. Only with a complete picture of the patient’s health can providers make accurate recommendations to provide them the best possible standard of care.
At Premier Healthcare Germany, our experienced case managers can guide you through the process of finding the right healthcare provider for your specific needs. Contact us to find out more about spine and other back pain treatments in Germany.